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Home / News / Teenager settles South Kerry CAMHS case for €200,000

Teenager settles South Kerry CAMHS case for €200,000

A teenager who was alleged to have experienced “very significant” harm as a result of the care she received from South Kerry Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services has settled her case at the High Court for €200,000.

It is the largest such settlement sanctioned by the High Court to date, against the HSE over treatment received from South Kerry CAMHS.

The girl claimed she had been inappropriately given antipsychotic medications, exposing her to the onset of bulimia nervosa and a foreseeable risk of injury.

She was initially referred to CAMHS service five years ago, when she was 12, due to panic attacks, stress and anxiety.

The High Court heard that she had also developed a habit of self-harm and that she had attempted to take her own life at the age of 13.

The girl, who has since been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder is still awaiting referral to an eating disorder clinic, close to where she lives.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey described this as “a very distressing” case.

She was represented by John Gordon SC, instructed by solicitor Keith Rolls of Coleman Legal.

Mr Gordon SC said she had been prescribed the antidepressant Sertraline and the antipsychotic Risperidone, which was later replaced by two antipsychotic drugs, Quetiapine and Aripiprazole.

Although she was on the medications for a short time, he said the girl’s health “deteriorated rapidly” and the changes in medicine had resulted in “very significant injuries.”

A review of 1,300 patient care files in South Kerry is currently taking place.

A 2022 report by Dr Seán Maskey, commissioned by the HSE followed a number of issues that were raised in September 2020 about clinical practices at the CAMHS service in South Kerry.

It found that 240 young people did not receive an appropriate standard of care and that 46 had suffered significant harm.

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